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Brutalist Speculations and Flights of Fancy

Brutalist Speculations and Flights of Fancy

Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre

September 2011

The publication Brutalist Speculations and Flights of Fancy is based on six buildings from the period of Brutalist architecture commissioned for Sheffield in the 1960s. Park Hill Flats, Castle Markets, Moor Street Substation, Holy Cross Church Gleadless Valley, Norton Water Tower and the now demolished Psalter Lane Art School. The buildings cover a wide range of functions from the residential to the commercial to the utilitarian, some highly contests some almost ignored and one invisible. `Artists and writers were asked to respond with proposals and interventions for any of the buildings and asked to consider the position of these buildings today, part of a much loved landscape or irrelevant, robbed of their utopian ideals. Their uncompromising exteriors and utilitarian solutions leave them often exposed in a new architecture of facades. The publication encouraged a speculative approach to the solutions – budgets are without ceiling, building regulations hold no barriers. The project questions a part of the urban landscape.

  • Concept and Editor: Julie Westerman
  • Writers: Owen Hatherley, Jane Rendell, Steve Pile
  • Artists: Michelle Atherton, Chloe Brown, Matthew Harrison, Dominique Hurth, Stephan Husch, Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Valentin Hertweck, Sharon Kivland, Peter Klare, Ines Lechleitner, Antonia Low, Penny McCarthy, T C McCormack, Christl Mudrak, Irene Pätzug, Hester Reeve, Becky Shaw, Gary Simmonds, Andrew Sneddon Olivia Reynolds with Jon Moscow, Julie Westerman, Oliver Zwink
  • Publisher: Site Gallery
  • ISBN: 9781899926183
  • Format: softback
  • Pages: 56
  • Illustrations: illustrated in mono colour
  • Dimensions: 297mm x 210m

A symposium took place at Site Gallery, Sheffield, in September 2011, a day of exploration of six of Sheffield’s Brutalist buildings. Starting with guided walks to some of the buildings, followed by a symposium, book launch, and reception, the event explored proposals and enquiries, speculations, and flights of fancy based on the position that these six Brutalist building hold in Sheffield today.

Researchers involved

Julie Westerman - Senior Lecturer, Fine Art

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